Mindy Project Recap: ‘Caramel Princess Time’

by | November 4, 2014
filed under Pop Culture

mindyprojectThis week’s episode (Season 3, Episode 6) is all about lateness. I am the most punctual person in the world. Nothing causes me more anxiety than lateness – both mine and other people’s. I am fond of telling my students, “Our lives are made up of units of time, so if you are late, that is basically saying your life is more important than someone else’s. “ Yes, it’s dramatic, but it’s true!

So, as the episode opens, Danny is concerned about Mindy’s lateness. She’s late for things that matter to him, like a screening of The Godfather or seeing a standup comic. And Mindy just doesn’t care. She’s not late for hospital births or work, but she’s always late for Danny because well, apparently when it comes to meeting boys she has to put on makeup?

She also suggests there is something called “CPT – Coloured Person Time.” Luckily, everyone in the office tells her this is hella racist. The bad news is that Tamra then argues it is okay to call it “caramel princess time” instead. To me, that seems just as racist.

Mindy deals with this relationship problem by tampering with the alarm on Danny’s phone. She does this to prove to him that being late isn’t that actually a big deal. You see, she thinks if he were late just once, he’d get that it’s normal. Well, this trick just makes Danny even more upset, so he hast to go to work-mandated counseling for his “rage” issues caused by Mindy’s tardiness.

Of course, the therapy idea is a good one. I mean, Danny did try to rape his girlfriend not that long ago. But it seems weird to me that, given all of Danny’s numerous problems, the issue that prompts people to get him treatment is not his tendency toward sexual violence, but the fact that he gets upset when people aren’t on time.

As someone who hates it when others keep her waiting but has never raped anyone, this offends me.

Now, because Danny has to go to counseling, Mindy fills in helping his mother Annette run her weekend errands.

Very quickly, we learn that Annette is the latest person alive and can’t even show up to a mammogram on time. Even Mindy is frustrated with her lack of respect for the time of others. Dealing with Annette teaches Mindy that a) She hates “spaghetti heads.” Yes, that is a racial epithet she has decided to apply to Italian women and b) She suddenly understands why Danny is obsessed with punctuality – because his mom is an irresponsible late person.

Yep, it’s mother-blame, the old standby. Danny’s mom is always late, so Danny has to be on time. Pin it all on mom!

Admittedly, we don’t just blame mother this episode. Danny also learns in counseling that he hates it when people are late because his dad stood him up to see Ghostbusters. All right, I’m sure that’s a traumatic childhood memory, but am I meant to sympathize with this emotionally abusive rapist character because his dad left when he was and his mom has difficulty being on time? Is that meant to whitewash all the destructive things he’s done to Mindy?

Any time they try to humanize Danny, I just get angry. It is tough to be abandoned by a parent, but when you are an educated adult man who can afford therapy to deal with your issues, why do you have to wait until you are threatened with being fired to go to get the help you need?

Look, I get that fictional characters aren’t always supposed to be role-models, but does Danny need to be this repulsive?

In other news, Peter is now dating a romance writer played by Allison Tolman. They should get a spinoff. I’d much rather watch a show about them than one about Danny raping his girlfriend because he feels like it.

There’s dark humour, and then there’s normalizing abusive relationships. The Mindy Project is a show that regrettably falls into the latter category.


Topics
, , , , , ,


  • My gods. I love the Mindy Project but I have yet to catch up with this season and I have read so many problematic things about it. I am wondering what is happening to it. Is it lazy writing (-isms, -obias and all) or is it is being subsumed into heteronormative and masculinist TV culture?

  • Neelam

    I think you just made me realise why it is that I gave up on this show. I stopped watching it after a while and I couldn’t figure out what bugged me about it!

    So thank you!